A charity’s crochet initiative is helping families all across Glasgow. 

Volunteers at The Breastfeeding Network have been crocheting life-size breasts to help mums who are struggling with breastfeeding or are breastfeeding for the first time. 

The crochet work is used as a training tool within the charity’s services, including their feeding support groups, which aim to empower parents and give them any information they need as they navigate the journey of feeding their youngsters. 

Glasgow Times:

Sarah Edwards, Scottish programme manager at The Breastfeeding Network, said: “We know in Glasgow that most families want to breastfeed but 80% stop earlier than they had hoped to. 

“And it is lower in areas of high deprivation, and these are the areas which see mums in most need of support.

“So, what we do is we come in with the crochet breasts to show mums and families how to feed and hand express milk if that’s something they want or need to know. 

“We also use dolls and the knitted breasts to show mums how they might position the baby to help their child get more milk.

"Our volunteers are given a crochet breast when they train with us and we use them as a training tool. 

“Of course, we work with the midwives, but we just offer that chance for women to meet other mums and learn those tricks and tips that might not be in the NHS book.”

Glasgow Times:

The initiative has not only helped mothers and families with their breastfeeding journey but has also increased socialisation and reduced loneliness in a lot of first-time mums. 

Sarah said: “It has helped women meet one another, talk to each other and share their experiences. 

“Giving birth can be a big time for loneliness, so the groups help women support one another, which really helps with mental health too.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback that the groups make a real difference to those who attend and are really helpful in reducing isolation.”

The charity is always looking for others to help with crocheting and volunteering in other services. 

Sarah said: “Us asking volunteers to crochet the breasts helps us a charity, but it also starts a conversation within the community. 

“We don’t have any training lined up right now, but if people who crochet want to make some of the breasts, they are more than welcome to reach out as we are always looking for help.” 

Glasgow Times:

Sarah and the team at The Breastfeeding Network wanted to say 'a huge thank you' to the knitting club who made the crocheted breasts.  

The Breastfeeding Network runs a range of services such as a telephone support service and training local women who would like to volunteer.

Face-to-face groups are available in Pollokshaws, Parkhead, Partick, Pollok, Cranhill, Dennistoun and Easterhouse, Bishopton, Paisley and Johnstone.

There is also weekly online support groups which run on Tuesday mornings and evenings and a online support group for Glasgow Muslim mums which take place on the fourth Thursday of the month via Zoom.

For further information, click HERE